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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hák 8I

R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 8’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 183.

Eyvindr skáldaspillir FinnssonHákonarmál
789

Blendusk við roðnar         und randar himni;
Skǫglar veðr léku         við ský* of bauga.
Umðu oddláar         í Óðins veðri;
hné mart manna         fyr mækis straumi.

Roðnar blendusk við und {himni randar}; {veðr Skǫglar} léku við {ský* of bauga}. {Oddláar} umðu í {veðri Óðins}; mart manna hné fyr {straumi mækis}.

Red colours mingled beneath {the sky of the shield-rim} [SHIELD]; {the storms of Skǫgul <valkyrie>} [BATTLE] played against {the clouds of shield-rings} [SHIELDS]. {Point-waves} [BLOOD] roared in {the storm of Óðinn} [BATTLE]; many people sank down before {the tide of the sword} [BLOOD].

Mss: (105v) (Hkr); 761bˣ(97v-98v)

Readings: [4] ský*: skýs Kˣ, 761bˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 66, Skj BI, 58, Skald I, 36, NN §§1054, 1903A, 3097B; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 220, IV, 59-60, ÍF 26, 194, Hkr 1991, I, 126 (HákGóð ch. 31/32); Möbius 1860, 233, Jón Helgason 1968, 26, Krause 1990, 80-3.

Context: As for st. 1.

Notes: [All]: J1ˣ and J2ˣ cite only the first word of this stanza; F omits it altogether.  — [1-2]: The lines, and particularly the form roðnar, are problematic. (a) Roðnar is here taken as a noun: an archaic pl. to *roði, a nomen agentis to rjóða ‘redden’ (Noreen 1921, 55), or possibly the pl. of a word roði, roðmi or roðni meaning ‘red sheen’ (so NN §1054). The image could be of the red of the men’s blood and of the shields blending with each other (so Lindquist 1929, 14-15), or of a red effect in the sky, as in en er orrostan tokzst þa laust roda a himininn ok a solina ‘and when the battle began, a red colour appeared in the sky and against the sun’ (Flat 1860-8, II, 354, describing the battle of Stiklastaðir (Stiklestad, 1030)). Construed thus, ll. 2 and 4 are elegantly patterned, with a prep. and similar shield-kenning occupying each one. (b) Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B emends to p. p. roðnum ‘reddened’, taken to qualify himni ‘sky’ with veðr ‘storms, winds’ as the subject of both blendusk ‘had dealings’ and léku ‘played’. (c) CPB I, 266 emends við roðnar to vígroðar ‘halos of war’, which Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 156) approves, though he would give the form as vígroðnar. (d) Wimmer (1903, 129) would emend randar to randa. (e) Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 65-8) would reverse the position of randar with that of bauga in l. 4, on the basis of comparison to the alliteration in st. 9/1-2. — [4] ský* ‘clouds’: Most eds agree on the necessity of the emendation. It is possible to retain ms. ‘scys’ by assuming a kenning veðr Skǫglar skýs ‘storm of Skǫgul’s cloud [SHIELD > BATTLE]’ (so Cederström 1860, 9, 20; Åkerblom 1899b, 30), but the word order is thereby rendered excessively complex. — [4] of: Of (ms. ‘vm’) is here taken to be the expletive particle. Kuhn (1929a, 14) regards it as a prep. ‘over’, but this interpretation is rejected by Finnur Jónsson (LP: ský). Jón Helgason (1968) suggests that ms. ‘scys vm’ may be a corruption of skýjum, though he points out that the acc. rather than the dat. should be expected after við. — [4] bauga ‘of shield-rings’: Cf. st. 6/2 and Note. — [5, 7, 8] oddláar umðu; hné fyr straumi mækis ‘point-waves [BLOOD] roared’; ‘sank down before the tide of the sword [BLOOD]’: (a) If oddláar ‘point-waves’ and straumi mækis ‘sword’s tide’ are indeed kennings for ‘blood’, the literal sense of their base-words, ‘waves’ and ‘tide, current’, is exploited in the poetic context, cf. st. 7/5 and Note; also ÚlfrU Lv 1/4V and Note. The most usual sense of prep. fyr, ‘before’, produces the statement, exaggerated even by skaldic standards, that warriors sank down ‘before’ a tide or current of blood. It could alternatively be understood in the sense ‘because’, i.e. the combatants ‘sank down on account of (loss of) blood’ (so NN §1903A, followed by ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991, but rejected by Lie 1957, 85). (b) There has, however, been doubt about these as blood-kennings. Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 69-74) and Lie (loc. cit.) propose ‘shower of darts’ for oddláar, and LP: straumr interprets straumr mækis as ‘sword’s movement’, not a kenning for ‘battle’ (though cf. Skj B; Meissner 199-200; Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 69; Lie 1957, 85; Krause 1990, 81). — [7] hné ‘sank down’: Ms. ‘hneig’; the inf. is hníga.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  8. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  9. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  10. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  11. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  12. Kuhn, Hans (1899). 1929a. Das Füllwort of-um im Altwestnordischen: Eine Untersuchung zur Geschichte der germanischen Präfixe: Ein Beitrag zur altgermanischen Metrik. Ergänzungsheft zur Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung auf dem Gebiet der indogermanischen Sprachen 8. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
  13. Möbius, Theodor. 1860. Edda Sæmundar hins fróða. Mit einem Anhang bisher ungedruckter Gedichte. Leipzig: Hinrichs.
  14. Lindquist, Ivar. 1929. Norröna lovkväden från 800 och 900 talen. I: Förslag till restituerad täxt jämte översättning. Lund: Gleerup.
  15. Åkerblom, Axel. 1899b. Nordiska fornkväden. I: De femton första sångerna af Wiséns Carmina norrœna. Lund: E. Malmströms Boktryckeri.
  16. Jón Helgason, ed. 1968. Skjaldevers. 3rd edn. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  17. Krause, Arnulf, ed. 1990. Die Dichtung des Eyvindr skáldaspillir: Edition-Kommentar-Untersuchungen. Altnordische Bibliothek 10. Leverkusen: Literaturverlag Norden Mark Reinhardt.
  18. Lie, Hallvard. 1957. ‘Natur’ og ‘unatur’ i skaldekunsten. Avhandlinger utgitt av Det norske Videnskaps-Akademi i Oslo, II. Hist.-filos. kl., no. 1. Oslo: Aschehoug. Rpt. in Lie 1982, 201-315.
  19. Sahlgren, Jöran. 1927-8. Eddica et Scaldica. Fornvästnordiska studier I-II. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  20. Noreen, Erik. 1921. Studier i fornvästnordisk diktning. Uppsala: Akademiska bokhandeln.
  21. Cederström, Rudolf. 1860. Forsök til tolkning och förklaring af Hákonar-mál. Stockholm: [n. p.].
  22. Wimmer, Ludvig F. A. 1903. Oldnordisk læsebog med anmærkninger og ordsamling. 6th edn. Copenhagen: V. Pio.
  23. Internal references
  24. Not published: do not cite (HákGóðII)
  25. Not published: do not cite (ÚlfrU Lv 1V (Nj 38))
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